tv Earth Focus PBS February 13, 2019 5:00am-5:30am PST
nar on this episode of "earth focus," how can we manage, protect, and nourish our natural resources while meeting the growing global demand fo food? a model of local control along the coast of madagaar provide a blueprint for ocean sustainability and community buding, while in san diego scalability is the goa researchers work to build the first open-ocean fish farm in the united states. [film advance clicking]
man: in madagascar,ve more than 5,000 kilometers of coast, and a lot of fishermen communities. it's forbidden to fish a cucumber with dive materito preserveth the species. but e are many foreign investors that came here that pay the young malagasy people to fish sea cucumber with a bottle of gas, etc.
the chinese came here and, as usual, they tried to offer infrastructures like roads, and as a counterpary want to be authorized to exploit natural resources. there is a very huge upsurge of these practices now, and it's a big threat to the natural resources, to their sustainability, and the environment in general. [man speaking native language]
markets. a lot of people in europe, a lot of peoplin asia enjoy to eat seafood which exists here. the population is growing in madagascar. there's lots of migration pssure as well. people from the inland come to the ocean because they want access to resources on the their fisheries are inrouble but they have no other option but to fish. the is not enough governance surrounding the fisheries, so, all those factn rs interlink, result ia decline in the resource. [man speaking native language]
day: lmma's now in madagascar. we havever 100. so, this is being really thought of as a low-cost and efficient solution toanaging marine resources because all over the world,an the oces are overfished.s small-scale fisherhave very, very few rights. they have the same problems. [ratsimbazafy speaking native language]
day: so, the sea cucumberro ct, we're working in partnership with a local collector that also produces juveniles. so, they sell juvenile sea cucumbers to farmers. they look after them and then sell them back.ti [indt conversation] day: they lease a pen and they have a seri of different rights and obligations. [siren] [rasolonaina speaking native language] day: farm exists in the pens and once the juveniles
come to an adult size, they get taken away to be sold, mostl for the asiamarket. [rasolonaina speaking native language] ilm advance clicks] day: this is probably one of the most transformative activities for communities. so, just to give you an idea, many people here will make about 120,000 ariari per month, and they will be making up to 400,000 now farming sea cucumber. [siren] [rasolonaina speaking native language]
[film advance clicks] [indistinct conversation] man: i grew up fishing. i made my first tuna trip when i was 9 years old. i'd get out of school rly, you know, during the summers to go fishing with my dad, and then my son nick, he loved fishing since he was little, too. man 2: immediately when i was born, le, i knew. like, i didn't think that i was ever gonna do anything else. i just
rmew i was gonna be a fis. david: rinse him a little. i never even thought about third generation. just a couple of weeks ago, iaid, "well, wait a second. we're third generation." you know, i didn't even think about that, and my granddaughter heis down here working at market. that's fourth generation. nick: our goal is to catch the bigeye tuna. the largest bigeye l.at we can catch is our g david: he's been fishing about a thousand miles out for tuna, and a lot of people say, "well, why do you fish a thousand miles?" we're not allow to 200 miles of the beach, our regulations in the united states. nick: it's kind of a struggle sometimes. there's certain restrictions that, you know, really harm some fishermen. david: when we go fishing, likeb with tht, we have an observer on the boat 100% of the time, so they mark downry eveing we catch. we have certain size mono we have to use. we have to use a certain size hook. we're not allowed to use squid. you know, we're not allowed to use the best bait. we go through all these measures,
but these other countries don't. they're using filet mignon on the hooks, and we're using a hot dog. man: the u.s. is the largest importer of seafood in the world. we import 91% of our seafood, and our primary source is china. it comes both at a large environmental cost in terms of the carbon footprint, shipping fish halfway across the globe, and it comes at a financial cost. the tradela ime in seafood for the united states is $13 billion to $14 billion a year. nick: it seke it would be a lot better for the american fishermen if we didn't import as much fish. david: in other countries, they gas the fish, or they actually, you know, dye the fish, t sically, so you can'll, you know, by the color or the
smell because it's, you know, beo2 gassed. it's a tough business for us. [film advance clicks] man: good seafoo's not cheap. cheap seafood's not good, andly you don't reave a lot of time. there's no such thing as a 60-day, dry-aged tuna, so you got to get it, get it off the g boat, a it out there and get it served in restaurants. know your source is huge. we have no frequent flyer miles on our tuna. our fish is coming ieight off the boat in san. we're the first stop from the dock. if it's getting flown in from fiji or around the world, we don't know where it's coming from. there's no trace and trust. trace and trust starts at the dock from the boat. you're offl right to the fishmonger, right to the box, and then where it goes. it's the foreign fleet. they have very little rules, very little regulations, no permits, no licenses. they're doing
everything wrong, and he erican guys are doing everything right, yeah, it's very difficult for the american fisherman to compete with the foreign fish and the foreign pricing that comes int man: when i was 16, i learned to scuba-dive. i just love being in the ocean, and then i saw an opportunity to become a sea urchin diver, so i learned to process sea urchins, first in my garage, so i then started divine duringay, processing in the evening, and delivering to sushi bars. i had a couple tough years, but we learned to starng local seafood. i started buying local lobsters and local swordfish and other local fish, and i started roying out of baja california. i started buyingers and snappers and scallops out of baja california and diversified the business. [saw whirring] we buy directly from the boats.
we know who we're buying from, and then we take care of the quality and get it to our different customer levels, whether it's a wholesar in san francisco or whether it's a restaurant here in san diego or door. we'll bring the fish back here, and we'll grade th one by one, so each fish, we'll do a tail cut, a core sample. we'll grade the fish. uh, number one? this one's a little different. the tail is a little bit off color, but the core is nice, so i graded it a 2g with a two plus 4. we have a limi can take to keep the population sustainable, and yet we have a growing population in the world, so we need this seafood. there areore imports now. half th world's seafood supply is being farmed. it's not happening in the u.s. it's happening ino er country under probably less strenuous environmentalonditions, and meanwhile, we don't have it
happening in the u.s. because of all our regulations. schubel: aquaculture refers to growing seafood in water. the problem within freshwater, which is where most of it comes now, well, freshwater is going to be under serious pressure as we go farther into ts century because of climate change, so we need to be looking to the ocean. we don't have a single fish farm anywhere in the united states in federal waters. at the present time, there are two applications for permits--one off san diego and one off long island, new york. in an area the size of lake an, we could produce an amount of seafood equivalent to the total global wild catch. [film advance clicks]
man: this facility was built to asgrow juvenile white seato then release back out into the wild to replenish the wild stock. re but what wized over time is, if we put a million fish out in the ocean and we get 10% of th back, that means we got 100,000 fish back out of a milion. if i take a millio fish and put them in a cage and groonthem, i can get a mil fish back out and put them on the table. our plan here is to take everything we've learned how to do in growing these species and demonstrate the technology, transfer the technology from the research level out to the commercial vel, and to do that, we're gonna permit a farm to produce 5,000 tons of fish about 4 miles out to sea. now, mussels and oysters, we
know how to do that. we've done that for a long time, and we reasonably know how to grow fin grsh, but we're not ing it here. we're growing it in other parts of the world and then bringing it here. now we get back into the balance part of it again. does it really make sense for us to have our salmon coming from chile, being processed in china, and then flown into our market? does it make sense for us to have european sea bass grown in greece and then brout into southern california? we had 16 canneries in southern california from los angeles to people in the tuna industry alone in san diego and in southern california, but now all there is is the corpo offices for those tuna companie the processing and the ships, the boats are all in t western pacific now. we've seen the seafood industry in southern california wane quite a bit from when i was a
kid, and at the same time, as i mentioned earlier, the world population has tripled, so we're bringing in less seafood, even though the demand is going up and up, so we have this opportunity to grow fish in the waters off the coast in clean, clear water that's not polluted. it's not within a bay. it doesn'interfere with water skiers or kayakers or anybody else, but it'll be out in 200 feet of water in a quarter- to a half-knot current going by, which means that the water stays clean and the biomass of the fish has no impact on the environment, and yet we're still in very close proximity to the market, so the product when it's ought in is harvested and on the dock within a couple of hours after it's taken out of the cage, which means it's very fresh and ready to go to market. [film advance clicks] david: it's a hard thing
because, as a commercial ssherman, first thing y is, not a good thing because, you know, it's competition for us. but i try to look at, you know, the whole picture. gomes: it's very difficult to say becse, as an american fisherman, you take pride in that. there's a tradition and a heritage, and you don't want to lose that. my family's been involved in fishing here for over 130 years, so if you're gonna do aquaculture and you're gonna hire commercial fishermen that are gonna be displaced and they're going to be able to work, i'm all for it, but if n you're gonna hire commercial fishermen, then i have to be against it because you're putting those guys out of work. rudie: there are good mariculture operation there are bad mariculture operations, you know. the good ones, they don't have the high densities, and they're able to keep their densities low and
control the type of food they have so they don't have problems with disease or escape or paasites or all the proble that, let's say, the bad farms have. david: you have to be careful that it's not where they put to many fish in and they have to feed--you know, give them antibiotics and all these 'things, you know, so if's more of a natural thing and they're, like, gettg local sardines or anchovies from us to feed them, i'm kind of in support of that. kent: it's really in the environment's best interest for us to feed the world to do it in the open ocean, and when we say, re.'re not gonna do it country," we're just kind of saying, "we're not worried about the environmental issues as long as they're notere. grow it any way you want, and we'll just bring it in," and that's not acceptable to me.
t t t t mus) [narrator] they are vast expanses of serene, crystal clear waters as far as the eye can see. [aaron] it is an absolutely unique place. it's usually less than six feet of ter that is a matrix of sand, seagrass,an little corals and sponges that offers good foraging grounds for many different species. [sarah] the fish arjust going about their business. you just see them in their own element, eatiea and cruising, and it'sy neat to see. [narrator] these are the flats, a place where recreational anglers pursue the legendary bonefish, tarpon, and permit. [justin] there's no other place i'd rather be fly fishing than on the flats. y] [alats fishing is just a very romanticized,